We place a lot of trust in our health care professionals, but even they are susceptible to making mistakes.
Unfortunately their mistakes often come with dire consequences. Our healthcare practitioners have a legal duty to provide proper medical care to their patients. This includes doctors, dentists, nurses, hospital staff, pharmacists and alternative healthcare providers. Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional fails to provide reasonable care, which leads to personal injury or wrongful death. There are two common types of medical malpractice, negligence and failure to receive informed consent.
Medical Malpractice & Negligence
Medical malpractice from negligence has occurred when a healthcare professional has failed to provide service that meets the standard of care that any reasonable doctor or healthcare professional would have provided in similar circumstances.
Common types of negligence:
- Failure in diagnosis
- Failute to communicate with other practioners
- Failure to protect third parties
- Failure to attend to patient
- Substandard treatment
- Failure to recommend proper treatment
If a professional is found negligible, the court may order them to pay for lost earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering, wrongful death, or loss of enjoyment of life.
The law recognizes that professionals do make mistakes. They will not be considered liable if they acted in a manner in which another professional would have in the same situation. Also, as a patient you have the duty provide your personal information and medical history. If you omit information and this leads to error in diagnosis or treatment, then medical malpractice cannot be proven.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
A doctor must provide you with all the information about your condition, the nature of the treatment, the risks involved with the treatment, and other treatment options available to you. You cannot legally consent to a treatment unless the doctor has given you all of this information.
However, certain circumstances may make this difficult. For example, if you are unconscious. In this case, the doctor will likely use their clinical judgment taking the following into consideration. Would a reasonable person, with the same medical status (with the exception of having the ability to consider all of the relevant treatment information) agree to the treatment? If the doctor decides yes, then they can proceed to treat without liability.
Medical malpractice can be very difficult to determine. It is always best to call a medical malpractice lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer call us at: